Today, smaller companies -- sometimes overshadowed by the giants and often missing from the national press -- are at the heart of the economy. They're thought to be a steadying force when the economy stumbles and an engine of growth in better times. They employ half of all private-sector workers and contribute more than half the country's total output. Indeed, America's high rate of entrepreneurship is consistently cited as key to the country's strong track record of innovation and growth.
Our inaugural issue showcases much of what we're proudest of -- solid journalism and nuts-and-bolts advice. Contributor Jill Hamburg Coplan describes how small companies are managing rising commodities costs. Lorraine Woellert, from BusinessWeek's Washington bureau, stakes out the positions of the two major Presidential candidates on issues of special importance to small companies, from health care to taxes, regulations, and the economy. And Amy Cortese, a former BusinessWeek editor, shares some advice from veteran entrepreneurs who have taken their lumps and are starting over again.
In launching SmallBiz, we received some informal input from four people who have been jokingly referred to as my own personal focus group. They're all entrepreneurs, and they're all members of my extended family. I've learned as much by watching them build their companies as I have from any experts I've interviewed. Now it's time to expand that so-called focus group -- and I'm asking you to join. Write to us. Tell us which stories you found useful, which ones you didn't like, and which topics we should tackle next. With your help, we can make SmallBiz the best source for entrepreneurs in search of clear, useful, business information.
I'm excited to be introducing you to SmallBiz. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have. Between issues, we'll be providing updates on our Web site.
I'm looking forward to your e-mail. By Kimberly Weisul, Editor, BusinessWeek SmallBiz